Colorado Rockies: 2017 Season Review and Offseason Preview

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 16: Nolan Arenado
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 16: Nolan Arenado /
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DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 01: Charlie Blackmon
DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 01: Charlie Blackmon /

What went right, what went wrong, and what are the top priorities for the Colorado Rockies this offseason?

Despite ending the year with an 11-8 loss in the Wild Card game, the 2017 season was a good one for the Colorado Rockies. It was their first winning season since 2010 and their first postseason appearance since 2009. It was also just the seventh winning season they’ve had in their 25-year history.

The season started off well for the Rockies, where they won five of their first six games and finished atop the NL West with a record of 16-10 in April, spending most of May and much of June there also. On June 20, they were 47-26 and a half-game ahead of the Dodgers and two up on the Diamondbacks.

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Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. is running his way to an MLB record
Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. is running his way to an MLB record /

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  • Little did they know that the Dodgers had already started an incredible stretch in which they would go 52-9 over 61 games. They would go on to run away with the division.

    The Diamondbacks also moved past the Rockies to finish second in the division. The Rockies went 40-49 over their last 89 games and just beat out the Brewers by a single game for the second wild card spot.

    One of the personnel changes the Rockies made before last season was hiring Bud Black as manager. From 1981 to 1995, Black was a Major League pitcher who won 121 games with five different teams.

    After his playing career ended, he was a pitching coach with the Angels for seven years, then managed the Padres for nine years.

    With Black’s experience as a big league pitcher and pitching coach, there was hope that he could produce an efficient pitching staff at very hitter-friendly Coors Field.

    Based on Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement, the Rockies improved production on the mound. In 2016, they finished 17th of 30 teams in Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement (WAR). This year, they were eighth.

    The team’s improved pitching came from a staff that didn’t have a single start from a pitcher older than 28 years old. In fact, nearly 70 percent of their starts were by pitchers 25 or younger. As good as the rotation was the bullpen was even better, thanks in large part to closer Greg Holland and setup man Jake McGee.

    After the best season Colorado fans have seen in years, let’s take a look at what went right, what went wrong, and the team’s top offseason priorities.